Yom Kippur

September 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm (Life) (, , , , , , , )

I did manage to find a place to go for Yom Kippur. However, it’s not somewhere I see myself going back to after my obligation for Yom Kippur is over. The congregation is large, impersonal and conservative. The latter wouldn’t bother me too much, but it’s a little . . . restrictive, in a way. It’s the kind of place where you’ll see older people and young families and very little in between.

Not only that, but the rabbi started being a solicitor for various funds in the middle of services, which I thought was incredibly inappropriate. We’re RIGHT smackdab in the middle of Kol Nidre services. And you ask people to put money into Israel Bonds? REALLY? YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA? He also started harping on our need to support Israel and donate and blahblahblah.

I have no issue with charity. I do have an issue when a religious official uses his role to push political agendas; it’s not something I have ever seen a rabbi do and I hope I’ll never have to see it again. It’s not something I associate with Judaism, the begging for money and propagation of political things is more a Christian phenomenon. Or it was until now.

The whole thing just made me incredibly uncomfortable. A religious official is supposed to offer advice, not preach from the pulpit about how I as a Jew am obligated to support Israel in every possible way. That’s like someone telling C. that she has to support the Pope because she’s Catholic despite the fact that dude’s batshit crazy, not to mention assbackwards on basically every matter of social importance. I am in no way obligated to support a country simply because I am part of a religious entity. I will not publicly support a country and a government on the basis of this.

I appreciate Israel’s existence, but I do not agree with a lot of their policies. I believe displacing Palestinians is wrong. The way Israel was founded is very much akin to the Europeans marching into North American and displacing all the American Indians. I don’t believe military action is necessary all the damn time and I am absolutely horrified at the sense of entitlement that many European and American-born Jews have when they make aliyah, and how perfectly acceptable the racism towards Palestinians is within those Jewish communities in Israel.

So, no, Rabbi Whateveryournamemaybe, I am keeping my money out of Israel Bonds and in my damn pocket. This kind of conduct does not leave me feeling spiritually cleansed, forgiven by God or enlightened. It makes me think I ended up an awful place for a very emotional time, and that makes me sad.

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1 Comment

  1. Lucille Van Pelt said,

    Unfortunately, that’s how it is at all synagogues. The High Holidays are when they make their appeal for donations and memberships. I hate it too, but it’s when the most people are there. And typically the ones with the most money (since i hate to say it, and not say all are like this, but the really richy rich ones seem to be the twice a year synagogue goers).

    And also, you can’t really compare Israel’s formation to the US killing native american’s. There have been Jews living in the area since they diaspora began. So for thousands of years, there has been a jewish presence. I do agree that I don’t like the way the Israeli’s treat the Palestinian population over all currently, but the formation of the state was very different from they way you’re representing it. Read about the neighboring Arab nations telling the Palestinians to leave for a bit and they’ll “deal with the jewish problem” and then the Palestinians can go back. I have a very good friend who is Palestinian and we’ve discussed it. It’s not black and white.

    sorry to rant. Hope you find a synagogue you love and can feel at home at.

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